May 24, 2018
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Portland community center, apartment buildings evacuated after gas line break

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Workmen peer into a hole where a gas line was ruptured in Portland's Kennedy Park Tuesday. Nearby residences were evacuated but no injuries were reported.
By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — A community center and two apartment buildings in Portland’s Kennedy Park neighborhood were evacuated late Tuesday morning after a work crew punctured a gas line, a local official confirmed.

David Gagne, who manages the Kennedy Park property for the Portland Housing Authority, said a work crew installing a sign near the neighborhood community center hit the building’s gas line while digging.

He said the center, as well as two multi-unit apartment buildings across Boyd Street, were cleared out by emergency responders for about 45 minutes while natural gas company Unitil and the Portland police and fire departments investigated and fixed the leak.

By just after noon, Gagne said the buildings were reopened.

Jamie Dixon lives in one of the apartment buildings that was evacuated.

“They went down into our basement and said we were OK,” Dixon said at the scene Tuesday. “They checked out other buildings down the street as well.”

Last month, construction crews doing excavation work on Front Street in Portland’s East Deering neighborhood broke a gas line and caused the evacuation of more than 40 housing units in a four-block area.

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